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Vance, Nail selected to all-star game

June 22, 2011

Benton senior Luke Vance, 25, attempts a shot during a basketball game at home. Vance and head coach Chris Nail were selected to participate in the 2011 AAA All-Star game. JOSH BARRON/Courier

Benton head coach Chris Nail and senior Luke Vance will participate in the Arkansas Activities Association All-Star basketball game tonight in Fayetteville.
“It is a big honor because you are voted on by your peers,” Nail said. “We’ve had a good time up here and I’ve met some really good kids.
“It has been a great experience.”
Nail said he would use this time to talk shop and maybe learn some new strategies from the coaches.
“I’m around some good coaches up here and we talk a lot of ball,” Nail said. “You always want to do things that are successful.”
The head coach for the West team is West Fork’s David Ferrell. Assisting Ferrell, is Nail and Marty Smith of Kirby and Tony Davis of Clarksville.
Nail said the coaches will divide the 15 players into teams of five and each assistant coach will have on quarter. Vance is apart of Nail’s group.
“He has had a good week and is doing well,” Nail said. “He is doing well and is really enjoying himself too.”
Vance was named to the 6A All-State team after the Benton Panthers finished the season as co-champions of the 6A South for the first time since 1989.
“It is real special after everything we have been through and done, to get to represent Benton one more time,” Vance said. “It is an honor and something special to be apart of.”
Vance, who committed to Hendrix College in May, finished the season averaging 11 points and eight rebounds a game and led the Panthers in scoring.
Mountain Home defeated Benton 72-61 in the opening round of the 6A State Tournament at Marion High School after Benton finished the season as the number one seed.
This is the second time Nail has been selected as a coach with the first coming in 2004 with Southside Batesville.
Vance said the team has been practicing the last two days with two-a-days.
“It has been pretty intense but it is an all-star game so we are having fun,” Vance said. “We are going all out for this game.”
Vance was also one of the seniors selected to play in the second annual Razorback for Reading charity basketball game.
“The main thing is to have fun and represent our side of the state well,” Vance said.
The East side includes Little Rock Parkview’s Aaron Ross and East Poinsett County’s Kyle Madden who have both committed to Arkansas.
“Everyone has looked at the East and how stacked they are supposed to be,” Vance said. “We just want to prove ourself and get some respect out of this game.”’
The basketball game will be held at Bud Walton Arena on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville beginning at 8 p.m.

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